Bloody Kings: The Plantagenets for Dummies

Dim is making a documentary for tv. He has a vision – ‘It’s going to be a mash-up, GOTs meets Merlin with a bit of Simon Schama pacing thrown in to showcase my amazing range of jackets! I want to bring all that old history stuff up to date and make it sexy for the kids, in’nt.’

Cindy is Dim’s research assistant, she once played a cadaver on Casulty which is how she got into the business but studied History at Uni so she really knows her stuff. She did that bit about the Corn Laws and her special module was on the History of Spam through the Ages. She’s going to be checking out all the ‘accuracy’ bits that Dim doesn’t want to think about because they really screw up the sex and violence.

Dim: ‘Right, we’ve got three episodes and we need to cover loads of stuff and keep it real for the kids so let’s make sure we fit in the best bits. I want to like come in through a window on a rope at some point and maybe tie that in with that king who got done up the arse with a poker, you know lots of smoke and stuff and me wearing my Gap jacket with the studs.’

Cindy: ‘Do you mean Edward II because he wasn’t about in the Wars of the Roses.’

Dim: ‘Damn it, perhaps we could do a dream sequence bit and fit it in? The kids would really relate to that.’

‘Ok, so we need to talk about what caused all the battles and stuff so let’s get a shot of some people having a massive punch-up in a cloisters somewhere – you know, where they filmed Harry Potter – then we get one of them stomping off and some horses riding through smoke and a big castle wall, then I will do some walking along that beach with the castle behind it that they used in Last Kingdom or was it Merlin?’

Cindy: ‘Bamburgh Castle?

Dim: ‘ That’s the one, think it was Vikings actually, bloody good show that but needed more action scenes, too much dialogue. Anyway, so I do my bit ‘blah, blah, Richard of York, blah, blah, crazy king, blah, queen having it off with Somerset, who’s the Dad, blah. Then we cut to this sinister looking baby in a cot. This is for episode three where I do the whole ‘England’s Black Legend’ hunchback reassessment, did he, didn’t he right on, loony Ricardians, car park archaeology angle. We defo want the bit with the baby though to set all that up and maybe have it playing with a dagger in the cot or something or a shot of a big spider in a web there.’

Cindy: ‘Production called, they want ideas for the ‘dramatic action’ cut aways.’

Dim: ‘Ok, great, I met this man down the pub called Dave, we all call him ‘Dave the  Viking’ cause he’s really chunky and he’s got long hair and no fringe and everything. He would be awesome.’

Cindy:’ Ah, but there aren’t any Vikings in the show. It’s C15th – the bit before ‘The Tudors.’

Dim:’Yeh, like I know that Cinders, it’s all ‘medieval’ though Ok. Fashions didn’t like change every few years or something, they didn’t have like distinctive hairstyles and different shoes and stuff. Anyway production budget is like £50 cause all the dosh is going on flying me to all the locations and stuff so we’ve got to make some compromises. Get on to the props department they might still have some kit left over from ‘Wolf Hall’ that we can get on discount. Just need some big candle stands and hats and chainmail and see if any of the extras are still available that worked on ‘White Queen’, loved that whole battle scene in the snow with only four men and a dog. It’s all about angles anyway, you can like cut and paste people in to make it look like an army and just do lots of close up shots with bolognaise sauce over the lens. It will be really awesome, want to get the kids to relate to all this old stuff.’

Cindy: ‘So, which battle is this for?’

Dim: ‘All of them, they just shoot one day on location in a big field somewhere near Didcot and then cut it all up in the editing suite and do some shots of hills and scary looking trees and cover it all with smoke effects. Get that rostrum camera guy to do a big swirly shot round a skull with a pike sticking out of it and talk about how they had to dig their own graves and stuff’

Cindy: ‘But what about weather conditions? Wasn’t Towton fought in the snow and Tewkesbury was really hot and like different people were at each battle so the banners need to change?’

Dim:’ You’re making it boring Cindy. The kids want sex and violence, they don’t know what the battles looked like, the closest they’ve got to Agincourt is watching the Lego version on You Tube.’

Cindy: (under her breath) ‘Again not in the WoTRS!’

‘OK, so episode one, build up, causes, moody shots, mad king, evil baby. Episode two?’

Dim: ‘More battles and stuff, I want to do this bit where I get shot out of a trebuchet and land in a boat and talk about going into exile or coming back from exile or something. Want shots of heads on spikes and the three brothers all looking really hacked off about their Dad and then the big scene with Ed and the Elizabeth in the woods with her kids and all soft focus and then he pulls a knife on her and tries it on but then she’s all ‘I’ve going to be queen and have some curtains made into a big dress and get that necklace from New Look and have my big day and he’s like OK then.’ I think episode two really needs to sex it all up a bit. The kids will want a ‘Joffrey’ type character to hate so need to bring in George at this point and he can be really like sulky and shooting people with cross bows and then he can get drowned in the butt of Malmsey at the big wedding massacre scene.’

Cindy: ‘But George wasn’t killed for years after they got married. Isn’t that all too GOTs?’

Dim:’ No-one knows when he gets it. We need to move the action on so do it at the wedding and have this wide angle shot of me stepping over all the bodies after the massacre and talking to camera about all the carnage and how they tore their family apart and stuff then straight on to Ed and Hastings having a threesome with Jane Shore and the queen looking really hacked off staring out of a window.

Cindy: ‘…OK, so the final episode. Shall we do foreign policy, Louis XI, …’

Dim: ‘Boring! No it starts with me swimming through the river and climbing out, all Mr Darcy but in a really tight t-shirt so you see my tats and the kids will love it, cause they can relate to tats so they will really buy in to what I’m telling them cause history and stuff can be ‘cool’ and I do bit to camera about Ed getting a chill, no antibiotics, being dead in a few days, then cut to horses legs in smoke riding with the news to this Dracula type castle with maybe some heads on spikes outside and there’s Richard sat in the dark with a raven on his shoulder and lots of long, greasy hair and lip curling. We can use the same shot of the horses legs as we take him South, then there’s Stoney Statford. Need to get some regular looking guys to play Rivers and his mates and a little kid on a pony looking scared then he likes drops his teddy and it gets trampled under foot by Richard’s horse as they drag him off. Couple of beheading and then the queen crying in the cloisters again.

Cindy: ‘How are we going to cover the Protectorate?’

Dim: ‘The what? No we  to cut straight to Richard’s coronation – like that bit in Maleficent where she slams the doors back and everyone cowers in the corner and he like goes up the Archbish’ and grabs the crown off him and slams it on his head and everyone gets told to kneel down and cheer. Then cut to me in black leather jacket, hair putty, sat on a bed in a dungeon with a pillow in my hands. Blah, blah, never seen again, blah, blah, gone too far, blah, blah, young Welsh hero waiting for his moment.

Cindy: ‘So are you going to skip the problem of plantation of Northerners to the South and Buckingham altogether?’

Dim: ‘ No, got to have Buck but just a passing shot of him, then beheading, beheading, Tudor. We really want to blow the budget on my trip to India.’

Cindy:’ India? For the Tudors?’

Dim:’ Yeh, I know but I found out that Henry Tudor traced his ancestors back to like the Mughals or something which is where he got his claim to the throne from, I don’t do family trees, boring, so anyway I want this shot of me on an elephant talking about how great Tudor was, fresh blood, totally like stirring it up and how he fancied the princess and all that and then straight into Bosworth cuase the kids need to see the whole bit about getting thrown over a horse naked and being chucked into this car park and I’ve got David Starkey lined up for a cameo right at the end where he says how he’s proved that Richard did in the princes cuase he found this letter where he confessed and everything but we need to leave it open just in case they dig them up under Budgens or something!’

Cindy: ‘Sounds really cool. It’s going to be massive. What time slot is it?’

Dim:’ Well I really wanted it on after Hollyoaks but the channel were all like ‘it’s for adults so you need to wait til the mums and dads get home’ so it’s up against like Enders and Emmerdale so it’s going to be tough but I’m like all over Twitter and FB and Instagram with it and we’ve got a really cool trailer lined up – lots of blood and flick-action stuff so you get to see the whole thing in like a minute.’

Dim will be available after the show to chat online with anyone who has been effected by scenes and would like to contact an intellectual self-help group for nerdy types who care about stuff like chronology and facts and why Eric Bloodaxe can be seen behind a tree during the battle of Barnet.


8 Responses to “Bloody Kings: The Plantagenets for Dummies”

  1. giaconda Says:

    Reblogged this on murreyandblue.


  2. jrlarner Says:

    Hilarious – scary thing is this is probably more factual than the ‘documentary’!


  3. jrlarner Says:

    Reblogged this on Jo's Historic Collection.


  4. Lady of Winchester Says:

    Sorry but could this and the sequel post be renamed? TV Satire, or the angry Richardian venting spleen? Cos that’s basically all it seems to be an irked latter day Yorkist getting worked up because someone said something critical about their darlings on telly and people might realize they were not so Lily White?


    • giaconda Says:

      Or it could be seen as a bit of light-hearted satire based on current historical tv series. Personally I don’t dislike Dan Jones as I don’t know him. David Starkey does make my hackles rise rather, not only about Richard III but a few other things too and I’m fair from blind to Yorkist faults and failings and have written about some of them on social media in the past. I don’t even have a firm opinion of whether Richard was responsible for the disappearance of the princes, if indeed they died in 1483. I’m quite open minded all round actually.


      • Lady of Winchester Says:

        I wrote this comment before I realized that you were one of the more balanced ones, taken in the wrong spirit, and at a rather late hour of the say. Sorry. Delete if you want.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Says:

      The Lancastrians and the Tudors weren’t so perfect either now were they? This post is more accurate and realistic than the documentary, which relied on sterotypes of these real people.


  5. giaconda Says:

    Just to demonstrate how balanced I am I’ve downloaded Dan’s Plantagenet’s book to my Nook and am actually quite enjoying it. He does have a very readable style and does the old fashioned narrative history quite competently – only read the first 200 pages up to John so far but I’m giving it a fair hearing. (p.s. I do own a Richard III mug but draw the line at shower curtains or bed linen)


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